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Breath test

The next time you go for your annual checkup, don’t be surprised if your doctor asks you to breathe into a machine called a spirometer. This quick, simple test, which measures lung function, is recommended by the National Lung Health Education Program for current and former smokers ages 45 and older and for anyone with respiratory symptoms. Spirometry results can clue physicians in to early signs of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung condition that causes progressive breathing problems. The sooner COPD is caught, the more effective the treatment, a mainstay of which is smoking cessation.